Our Spotlight on Outstanding Teachers

Today: Janie Guerra, lifelong educator

What do teachers make? They make a difference! Teachers are the most important part of what we do at DBE. But let’s get real! Teachers are some of the most important people in our society…period!

Meet the Champions shines a spotlight on outstanding teachers, and how they make a difference. Right here on the Quick Key Blog, we will be interviewing real working teachers from around the globe, who make a difference in their classrooms every day.

I first met Janie when I ventured into the world of Twitter for the first time. She was one of the first educators in my PLN.  She helped to show me the ropes of how to use social media as a tool for improving my practice. She brings a positive energy and acute intellect to every interaction, and I am thankful to be able to learn from her. Make sure you add @WarGirl007 to your PLN. Thank you for taking the time to share with us Janie, it is deeply appreciated.

Who is @WarGirl007?

My name is Mary Jane Guerra, I was born in New York and I have lived many years in Guayaquil, Ecuador where I started my teaching career. 

What led you to become an educator?

My passion is definitely Education, I’ve taught English as a Foreign Language for over 20 years and in the last 10 years, I have taught World History following the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. I am also an Instructional Designer; I have developed several English for Specific Purposes courses for the hospitality industry, of which I am very proud.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’ve received several awards throughout the years, but not one of them is as valuable as the appreciation I have received from my students. “You were very strict with us in class, but I learned so much from you!” are the kind of phrases that keep me going.

How has being bilingual impacted your work as an educator?

Knowing English in a South American country is a huge advantage, it opened many doors and allowed me to meet people and learn different skills. I started at 18 as an English teacher in a local language academy; from then on, my passion for education grew.

What is one of the highlights from your classroom?

This year I had to teach content in World History that the year before I had taught to the same group of students in 10th grade. So the challenge was to reinforce the previous knowledge and deepen more into the content. How to do it? With technology, of course! 
We went through the topics, but this time we created newspapers of the different time periods and posted them on blogs, re-enacted events in videos to post on youtube, and some students even created diaries that looked so real! 

How does technology impact your classroom?

Since students are so immersed in technology on a daily basis, I consider it crucial for any teacher to include it in their planning. Learners not only learn to master technology, but the content also becomes more meaningful to them.